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The Lincoln Community Breastfeeding Initiative (LCBI) was selected to present its successful Community Breastfeeding Educator program at national conferences in July and August. Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln, project coordinator for the LCBI, will be presenting on behalf of the LCBI program.

The LCBI is a cooperative partnership of health care providers and community organizations focused on improving infant health by providing accurate information on infant nutrition and local support. LCBI works with health care providers, hospitals, childcare providers, and employers across the city to establish policies and practices that encourage breastfeeding education, support consistent messages, and guide mothers to appropriate assistance as it is needed.

Breastfeeding the recommended duration (exclusively for 6 months, with solids until 12 months) has been shown to have significant lifetime health benefits for infants, mothers, and the community including lower rates of obesity and asthma and diseases like diabetes and cancer in both babies and mothers. Sources say that despite the widespread support of professional physician associations and the U.S. Surgeon General, under 50% of Nebraska moms are still breastfeeding at 6 months and less than 20% continue for 1 year.

Funded by the Community Health Endowment of Lincoln, Lincoln Community Foundation, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, and Arbor Health, the program started as a pilot in 2015. To begin the program, seven culturally diverse mothers were trained as Community Breastfeeding Educators (CBEs) to provide peer to peer support to new mothers in their homes and communities. Through a collaboration between Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln, MilkWorks, a non-profit breastfeeding center, and the Asian Community and Cultural Center, the CBEs worked with minority and immigrant mothers to provide support, information, and counseling in 9 different languages.

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